Blurb: To celebrate Aurora Metro’s 30th anniversary as an independent publisher with 20% of profits to go to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign. Includes essays, fiction, poems and interviews with top female writers. This is a special edition of the indie publisher’s inaugural publication which won the Pandora Award from Women-in-Publishing. Inspirational in its original format, this new edition features literary works and exclusive interviews with over 30 women writers, both emerging authors and luminaries of contemporary literature. In her foreword to the book, publisher and managing editor Cheryl Robson, describes the development of Aurora Metro Books to becoming a leading indie press and saw the company named a finalist in the 2019 IPG Diversity in Publishing Awards. Includes the original writing workshops plus quirky black and white illustrations.
Review: The absolute joy of taking part in a blog tour is being introduced to books that would have most certainly passed me by. I must admit when I first started reading this I honestly wasn’t sure I would continue. It wasn’t what I was initially expecting although like any good reader I continued. This collection of women’s writing was varied and informative featuring Sexism, Racism, LGBT, Trans, motherhood,essays, Q&As and a number of joy only positive but also literary quotes.
I really enjoyed the Q&As they broke up the writing as some of it was informative heavy and some pretty historic which was interesting but the light heartedness of the questions kept my attention. I was also truly moved by the talk of Virgina Woolf even if her story wasn’t totally what I was expecting.
If you’re a wannabe writer there are lots of hints tips and advice along the way in this collection. This book can be read in one or could be read as snippets and there is biographical information on each writer so if there are any you would love to hunt out again all the information is there for you.
This book has shown me that every once and a while I really should read more out of my comfort zone and expand and broaden my mind some more.
Thank you once again to Kelly @lovebookstours for invitingme onto this tour.
Welcome to another week…I know how quickly is this crazy year flying by. I know a few of you have said how you loathe double posting days and I promise I will do my utmost to keep them to the minimum.
Today I have two commitments to uphold this blog blitz and a blog tour review but as I say I will do my best not to get so many double days but I want to just say I do like to support publishers and blog tour organisers where possible.
So today I am taking part in a blitz thanks to Shalini and it’s for Thom Bedford’s The Defence of Exeter Station. This is available to purchase now as publication day was on 27th June and you can purchase it Here.
Blurb: At the turn of the twenty-ninth century, the Milky Way is on the verge of a galactic war. The Combined Systems Alliance continues to expand their territory—much to the displeasure of the Free Planetary Union who, until now, lacked the resources to halt the encroachment. In a bid to wrest control from the Alliance and retake their former colonies, Union agents throughout the Alliance Fleet organize a mass insurgency seizing countless assets. During the ensuing chaos, numerous ships are decimated and millions of lives are lost.
Retired Alliance Commander Tanic Sandorn finds himself stranded on a border station after the Union launches an all-out assault. Fighting against anxieties from the incident that pushed him into early retirement, Sandorn accepts being recalled to active duty and propelled to the front lines. This time, he will protect his crew and the inhabitants of the Exeter star system from any approaching threat—never again will he leave anyone behind.
But outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked, Exeter Station is left running at a fraction of its operating capacity. Sandornand the Alliance officers on board must strategize quickly and carefully to hold their ground, or they will be forced to surrender the station, the system, and their lives.
About the Author: Thom grew up in suburban Cheshire, England with his parents and brother. During school he had a propensity for creativity, either writing, building models, painting, or programming. Every subject choice was motivated by creating and building, whether it be design technology, graphic design, programming, or creative writing.
After studying Computer Science at The University of Manchester, he started working as a Software Developer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a Technical Consultant in London for several years, then in Data Warehousing back in Manchester.
In his spare time, Thom still writes, build models, paints, and programs, but nowadays also listens to a lot of music, watches a lot of films, and enjoys playing computer games.
His love for science fiction comes from blockbuster films like Starship Troopers, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as B-movies like Wing Commander, Pitch Black, and Iron Sky. Computer games like Homeworld, EVE-Online, and Stellaris, and books like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s HonorHarrington series. In other words, sci-fi—particularly space opera—in any media.
Thom currently lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Helen, and their two cats.
I’m also extremely pleased to be able to share an extract with you today…
Every crew member aboard the Veloz ran from stem to stern working tirelessly to patch every hole in the ship. The damage was critical to the point that nearly half the ship had been evacuated. With so little power available, compartmental force fields were inoperable, leaving only a single fire door between repair crews and the vacuum of space in many areas.
Not a single deck was spared at least some devastation, for as the ship’s superstructure twisted and contorted under heavy firepower, panels came loose and circuits overloaded throughout resulting in debris littering every room and corridor. The floors weren’t only littered with discarded paneling and blown circuitry, but also injured, dying, and dead crew members. The initial unexpected surprise attack caused the most death and destruction, taking over a hundred lives. Then as the battle wore on, further loss of life was inevitable.
The victory was Pyrrhic, but it was a victory, nonetheless.
I swear the weeks are passing by quicker and quicker. The temperatures have soared which is great in some respects back topping up my tan but it’s also meant I’ve had to factor what time I run.
So as much as I’ve started the Couch to 5k and taken part in various online workouts I haven’t weighed myself in forever. Mum is getting bored and she’s like I’ve put on so much weight – so she wanted us to get some scales. Well it wasn’t too bad – but it also wasn’t that good. I really must start organising what I eat again as I’ve let a few bad habits slip through. Granted there will still be the odd treat but I must get some normality back.
Last Monday saw my second run of week 3 and it was by far my most frustrating run so far. Although after the initial frustration I said to myself I was up/out and moving. Wednesday was my final run of week 3 and I felt fantastic.
Friday saw me tackle week 4 run 1 and omg it was a hard one. Now on the couch to 5k app I’m running more than I’m walking. The 3mins was easier but the 5mins sure was hard going. I got up and out for my runs early but by the later stages of the run I sure was sweaty.
So what have I read this week??
So what’s been on the blog this week?
Last Sunday I finally posted my thoughts on Patricia Scanlan’s The Liberation Of Brigid Dunne and you can read it Here.
Monday saw my thoughts on the fourth and final part of Meet Me At Pebble Beach and you can read it Here.
Tuesday saw Top Ten Tuesday’s 10th birthday and my offering can be read Here.
I’m a sucker for a cover reveal and I posted one on the blog on Wednesday you can find it Here.
Thursday I posted my thoughts on Five Go Absolutely Nowhere and I honestly will get more of these read and reviewed on the blog soon this one can be read Here.
Friday I finished the fantastic On The Come Up and you can read my thoughts Here. I also posted a tag which you can read Here. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking to do more of these on the blog.
Is there anything else you would love to see on my weekly Update? If so get in touch also do we love or loathe the double posts?
So another week has passed and it’s been a weird one. Not all good but not all bad either. This week has also shown me in an abundance that I have some truly awesome people in my life and I’m forever grateful to them.
This last week I finished week 2 of Couch to 5k and just yesterday I undertook week 3 run 1 and I’m so shocked at my progress in just 3 weeks. The 90 sec run that seemed hard previously I’ve paced well and as much as the 3 min runs were hard I got through them.
So what have I read this week??
So what’s been on the blog this week?
Last Sunday I posted my thoughts on the truly heart wrenching What Doesn’t Kill you? And you can read my thoughts Here.
Monday saw a blog blitz for the lovely @lovebooksgroup and you can read it Here.
Isabelle Broom is one of those authors who always manages to sweep me away and leaving me full of wanderlust you can read my thoughts on Hello Again Here.
Wednesday saw another blog tour post thanks to @lovebooksgroup and this sure is an interesting one. You can read it Here.
Thursday was dedicated to an exceptional lady in Victoria Walters and here I am showing you the gorgeous cover reveal of the third book in the Glendale series Hopeful Hearts at Glendale Hall.
I keep asking what your thoughts are on double posting on Friday I had another blog tour commitment and you can read that Here. I read and really loved Cathy Bramley’s free novella and wanted to share my thoughts you can read my piece on Rescue Me Here.
I am trying to diversify my reading so would love any recommendations. I’m also hoping to add more short reads to my reading. As I’ve said before if you would like to see any specifics on my blog or my update do get in touch.
Today I am pleased to share with you a gorgeous extract thanks to Kelly @lovebooksgroup and if you are blown away by what I share you can purchase Whatever It Takes Here.
Blurb: Set in Cork city, Detective Garda Collins is at war with the leading local criminal, Dominic Molloy. Unwilling to accept the human degradation caused by Molloy’s drugs, violence and prostitution. He has made up his mind to bring Molloy down, but just how far is he willing to go to make that happen? What is he willing to do and what fall-out will ensue for himself and his garda colleagues? This tense crime novel (the first in a series featuring Collins) tells the story of two immovable forces colliding. Something has to give. Running out of time before the murder of two teenagers becomes inevitable, and with a traitor in the garda station feeding information back to Molloy, Collins takes his battle to new heights. He is determined to win, whatever the cost, whatever it takes.
About the Author: Tadhg Coakley is from Mallow and lives in Cork city. His debut novel The First Sunday in September was shortlisted forthe Mercier Press fiction prize and was published in 2018 to much acclaim. His sports writing has appeared in The Irish Examiner and The Holly Bough. He has also been published in The Stinging Fly, The Honest Ulsterman, Silver Apples,Quarryman and the From the Well anthology. He is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing course at University College Cork. www.tadhgcoakley.com
Now here’s for the good stuff the extract– Watching…..
The house being used by the gardai as a lookout for Molloy’s pub was not derelict like the one in Clarke’s Drive, but the family had been relocated quietly to a house in Glanmire. It was two streets away from the pub, so that it required spotting scopes to watch the front door.
Collins took the stairs three at a time and entered what had once been a small bedroom. Detectives Tom Kelleher and Jim Murphy turned as the door opened. He knew them well. They had worked closely with him when he led the investigation into Molloy’s murder of Dinny Buckley a few years previously. An investigation that neither charged nor convicted anybody. They couldn’t even find his body.
The cramped room, the men, thewatching and the sense of purpose flooded Collins with memories. Itseemed to him right then that he had spent most of his working life just watching. Watching murderers, watching rapists, watching drug dealers, watching republican extremists. All that time he would never get back. All that time he could have been doing something with his life.
Murphy was drinking tea. Kelleher wastyping on a laptop connected to a large screen on an office table. A cable snaked from a small camera attached to one of the scopes to the screen. The screen showed the front door ofMolloy’s pub. Both men rose to their feet and exclaimed simultaneously.
Collins smiled at them and shook their hands.
Thank you once again to Kelly @lovebooksgroup for including me on this tour. I will be also undertaking the Instagram tour you can find me on there under HayleyReviews10. As ever be sure to check out the rest of the fabulous hosts on this tour.
There is also a post from my girl @fabbookfiend today 🙂 make sure you check it out.
Today I am pleased to be a part of the Worlds Apart blog tour and my oh my do I have a treat for you today.
Blurb: At just under six foot in his socks and weighing in at fourteen stone, Ronan Brady is a solid slab of rarest Roscommon meat. He has a natural tendency to throw himself about – some would say recklessly, others would say enthusiastically – into whatever he sets himself to. Ronan had a ‘normal’ childhood in Roscommon and knew by the time he was a teenager that when he grew up he wanted to play football for his county and become a teacher. Ronan had achieved his life ambition when he took up ‘Flying’ as a hobby. A hobby that transformed his life and took him to heights he never dreamed of, performing in the smash hit show Riot alongside Panti Bliss, and going on to tour the world. Worlds Apart is an open, humorous account of Ronan’s life journey.
I am over the moon to share with you some content from Worlds Apart….
had never, would never, have been able to foresee before I began this journey.The cost was that I was going to have to slowly rip out my internal wiring and reinstall it. I had preconceptions and biases and learned behaviours, a whole myriad of attitudes, all of which were completely normal for me back where I came from, but which were entirely inappropriate for this new world and these new people with whom I wascirculating.
As I drove towards the photoshoot for Thisispopbaby in this strange place with these strange people I was struggling with all of these things.
Because, and here’s the crux of the matter, a good deal of my discomfort stemmed from the fact that these were people that a past version of myselfwould not have liked. These were peoplethat a past version of myself would nothave associated with. These were people – a lot of whom grew up being mocked, bullied and largely led to feel excluded because of their differences – that a past version of myself would very likely have ridiculed for those same exact reasons.
Would I have bullied them? Probably. Did I bully them? Probably.
It’s hard to remember, but it seems safe to assume that I did; at the very least, I definitely did not stand up for them when other people did. But I don’t want to fudge it. I don’t remember bullying them because most likely it simply did not seem important enough for me to commit it to memory at the time.
Of course you would bully them. Why wouldn’t you?
About the Author: Ronan Brady is a physical performer, aerialist and hoop artist who is recognised internationally for his expertise with the Cyr wheel. He is a native of Roscommon, where he was a teacher and played intercounty football, before embarking on his stage career.
Back in May I took part in a blog blitz to showcase Graeme Cumming’s Carrion. In doing so I had a chat with the author and here lies what come from that.
A novel where the cover has drawn me in and left me intrigued. I as yet still haven’t read this offering from Graeme but I will be taking part in the @lovebooksgroup blog tour in July and I cannot wait to see whether these crows scare me….I’ve read a few things over the years where crows have left me feeling bereft and when I’ve stumbled upon one I’ve literally eye balled it so I didn’t lose my cool.
Graeme kindly offered to guest here at Hayley Reviews and I’ve been trying to find the right time to post it. In talking to Graeme I wanted to know more about his inspiration for Carrion and obviously as I haven’t yet read it he’s been mindful to that in explaining to me…..without further ado I welcome Graeme Cumming. Not only has he explained a bit about the book and how it came to be there is also a short extract from Carrion to wet your appetite.
Cut-outs Don’t Cut It
When I first started writing Carrion, it was called Salin, after the main protagonist. The reason for this name was significant to how I envisaged the book turning out. Before long, I realised it wasn’t necessary, but liked Salin’s name and kept it.
When I started writing it, the plotline was still pretty vague. Having been part of the writing community for several yearsnow, I realise my approach leaned more towards what’sreferred to as the ‘pantser’ than the ‘plotter’ – which was one of my first mistakes.
Although I didn’t know exactly how things were going to turn out, there were ideas. I’d even drawn a rough and ready map to refer to because Salin and his friends would be going on a journey. I wanted to envisage their route and the physical obstacles in their path – forests, mountains, river – as well as the order they might be encountered. A couple of key scenes had begun to play out in my mind in advance of writing, so the map helped me work out where those scenes should take place.
Even so, I was pretty much making it up as I went along and, when I got to the final, climactic confrontation, it was clear it’d take a different form to my expectations. Still, by the time I typed ‘The End’, I liked the overall concept and felt happy with what I’d written. But it’d taken me five years to reach that point, and I needed a break from it, so I wrote what turned out to be my first published novel, Ravens Gathering.
The progress I made with Ravens Gathering was much faster than with Salin. A key factor was the decision to plot it all out in advance. But it still meant almost two years passed before I returned to Salin. I remained broadly happy with it, but there was something missing and I couldn’t quite work out what.
Over the following months, I edited, rewrote and got feedback from friends and family. Eventually, I felt ready to send it to my editor and sat back waiting for glowing praise.
It didn’t materialise. Instead, I was told it was an interesting concept, but too slow and, more importantly, my villain was little more than a cardboard cut-out. I’m paraphrasing here, and covering in a few lines what he said in four pages, but the essence is correct. And it hurt. Five years’ work, plus another year or so of reworking… For nothing.
The temptation to throw the towel in was very strong, and it was a temptation I felt several times because the scale of the changes was so significant.
The key, though, lay with the villain. His role needed beefingup. More importantly, I needed to give him more backstory. It’s become a cliché to refer to actors wanting to know their character’s ‘motivation’, but that was what made Carrion work. Not that it came easily.
At first, it went too far in the other direction. I drafted a summary of the villain’s whole life, which was something I’dlearnt writing Ravens Gathering. Knowing a character’s history helped to express them better on the page. The mistake I made was including everything in my next rewrite, increasing the word count from 120000 to 180000. The story became far too cumbersome, and the pace even slower.
It took three more attempts to get it down to a little over 125000 words and, more importantly, set the right pace. Based on early reviews, though, it seems to have worked, and the villain’s character has given Carrion the very edge it needed.
“You can’t hide anything from me. Remember that.” There was a certain gratification in the dread he sensed in them. “But you’re right, I do like to leave something behind for the birds.” He could never explain to anyone else the surge of energy he got from that simple act, and he had no intention of trying now. He didn’t need to.
It was time to let the ravens loose…
“You’ll die for that!” one of the guards yelled. He raised his sword, ready to charge. Behind him, the others were preparing to do the same.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
He probably saw the doubt in their eyes before they registered it themselves. It wasn’t enough to feed off yet. But it would be when it turned to fear.
“Have I introduced you to my friends?” He didn’t wait for an answer. The wings were beating before he’dfinished speaking.
About theAuthor: Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.
You can find more out about Graeme at the links below.
Today I am pleased to be a part of a blog blitz to showcase One Fatal Night by Helene Fermont. So let me dive in and tell you what it’s all about.
Blurb: One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.
Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.
Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.
As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.
If that’s wet your appetite you can purchase it Here the ebook is currently cheaper than most decent coffees at £2.99 so grab it while it’s an absolute steal. It’s a 63% saving on the ebook over the paperback.
About the Author: Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.
Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.
Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.
Thank you once again to the ever professionalkelly @lovebooksgroup for having me.
Today I am pleased to be a part of The Very Real World of Emily Adams blog tour and I’m so excited to share a snippet of the story with you….how cool is that.
Blurb: Emily Adams has reached a breaking point. Her boyfriend pushed her down the stairs, breaking her arm, and now she’s found herself in an unfamiliar city with fifteen cents in her pocket and nowhere to go. She’s decided that all that’s left for her, is to take matters into her own hands and put an end to her misery…
Until an encounter with a magic man in a dress changes everything.
In a story full of humor and heart, The Very Real World of Emily Adams shows that there is hope in darkness, triumph in tragedy, and the moment when things are at their worst is when you hold on the hardest, because you never know what good things are waiting for you on the other side of despair.
Today I am pleased to share with you a snippet of the book.
I shook my head. “Honestly, is there anything you can’t do?”
He looked out over the ocean and sighed, almost sad. “I am completely incapable of being anything other than what I am.”
I smiled at him. “Well thank goodness for that.”
He returned my smile, his gaze full of warmth. “You know, I like who you are—this person that you are in your subconscious mind, unrestrained.”
My stomach twisted in a nervous, giddy way. “Thanks. You’re probably the only person that does.”
“But are you happy? I mean—here, now, having let yourself just be for a moment, even though it is only in your mind—have you felt happy?”
I looked over at him. “Yeah. Happier than I’ve been in… I don’t even remember when.”
“Then it doesn’t matter. Other people’s approval is never going to make you happy, Emily. Approval may seem nice, but in reality, it is a cage that is constantly changing shape. It has limits and restrictions, and what was a hit yesterday is forgotten tomorrow. Besides, there is only one face that you’re guaranteed to wake up to every day for the rest of your life, and that’s yours. So live according to your conscience. Love the things that bring you joy, fight for the deeper things in your heart, the things that fill your soul with fire, because those are the things that make you who you are.” He nodded at the sky. “Then one day, you’ll find your people. People who appreciate who you really are, that you don’t have to hide around. They’re out there.”
He looked at me intently. “Will you do that for me? When you wake and the dreams are gone, promise me that you will try to let this person out and let yourself be?”
His words pierced me, filling me with a strange, burning hope and a desire for something I couldn’t quite explain. My heart pounded, sure that I couldn’t have dreamed up such a speech. He had to be there. He had to be real.
But how was it possible?
He nodded. “Good.”
About the author: Samantha Rose is a forever-student at Utah State University, who will one day have her Masters Degree in Psychology. She wrote her first novel in permanent marker on her sister’s vanity chair when she was three-years-old. It wasn’t well received.
She currently resides in the mountains, in a little house full of toys, where she’s enjoying her happily ever after with her Prince Charming and three adorable, little bears.
Thank you once againto Kelly @lovebooksgroup for having me on this tour do be sure to check out the rest of the tour…
Today we are celebrating the release of Gray Genesis by Alan McDermott. The 7th Tom Gray novel. Gray Genesis is the prequel and it is set in Afghanistan a few years before Gray Justice.
One of the best things about this being at home lark means I can spend more time on the blog. It seems to be working as last month there were only two days where I didn’t post. Once again I would like to know whether you like or loathe the days I post twice a day.
Blurb: Tom Gray is back in his most explosive adventure yet!
Afghanistan. As the war on terror intensifies, Taliban leader Abdul al-Hussain has plans to turn the tide in his favour. His objective: a US virologist named Miriam Dagher. She’s about to pay a visit to the land of her birth, and al-Hussain has her in his sights.
Out to stop al-Hussain is Sergeant Tom Gray, SAS veteran and leader of 8 Troop. His team are tasked with disrupting Taliban operations, snatching high-profile targets and wreaking havoc on enemy supply lines. Their missions are routine, until the Taliban unleashes a new breed of warrior.
Gray Genesis is a prequel to the million-selling Tom Gray series, a familiar blend of intrigue, camaraderie and explosive action.
About the author: Alan McDermott has an eclectic work history, with roles ranging from developing software for the NHS to shovelling custard powder in a food packing factory. He tried his hand at writing in 1990, but after completing half a draft, he started a new job and threw it in a drawer. It wasn’t until 2010 that he picked up his pen again, and published his first novel, Gray Justice, in 2011. Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption soon followed, and his success as a self-published author attracted the attention of Thomas & Mercer an Amazon publishing imprint. They commissioned three more books in the Gray series, plus a spinoff called Trojan. In 2014, Alan gave up his day job to become a full-time writer, and has written three books in a new series (Run and Hide, Seek and Destroy and Fight to Survive) featuring CIA assassin Nolene Driscoll. He also has a standalone thriller called Motive, which has a new lead in Ryan Anderson.
If that’s wet your appetite you can purchase a copy Here.
Thank you once again to the ever efficient Kelly @lovebooksgroups for inviting me onto this blog blitz.